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    ACT Continues Expansion

    Reaches deal with Handy Andy to acquire 16 stores in Indiana.

    LAVAL, Quebec -- Alimentation Couche-Tard (ACT), Canada's largest convenience store chain, yesterday continued its aggressive expansion into the United States with the acquisition of 16 stores from Handy Andy Food Stores in Indianapolis.

    ACT, which operates about 1,940 Couche-Tard, Mac's and Bigfoot stores in Canada and the Midwestern United States, did not give a price for the acquisition but said it would add about $20.3 million to its sales annually.

    The company said the total of its U.S. stores was 247 after the acquisition, adding that the buy was consistent with its "strategy of establishing a first foothold of 1,000 stores in the Midwestern United States."

    In June, ACT signed a letter of intent to acquire Dairy Mart Convenience Stores Inc., which has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy since September, for $80 million. Dairy Mart, with 450 stores in Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Indiana, was Couche-Tard's second major buy in the United States. Earlier this year ACT acquired Johnson Oil Co. in Indiana.

    "This was an opportunity for us to acquire strong assets in Northeastern Indiana," said Alain Bouchard, chairman and CEO of ACT. "Handy Andy has a tradition of innovation, quality of service and profitability...and its convenience retailing concept is constantly evolving."

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